A programme aimed at taking higher-emission cars off the roads seems to be stimulating the car business.
Car-owners are already eagerly taking advantage of a cash-for-clunkers programme launched at the beginning of the year, says Pekka Rissa, head of the Finnish Automobile Sector Information Centre.
“More than 500 new cars have already been purchased under the scheme,” Rissa said on Yle TV1’s morning show on Friday. The rebate system is intended to lower emissions by taking older, higher-polluting vehicles off the roads.
Rissa says that the car trade is off to a lively start this year otherwise, too, with sales up by 11.5 percent compared to the beginning of 2017. Overall the sector expects growth of some six percent this year.
About 60 percent of the new cars being bought now are midsized estate wagons and sedans. Small and midsized urban SUV’s have been gaining popularity since 2010. Last year they accounted for nearly a quarter of newly registered cars.
Second-hand vehicle sales keeping the pace
Sales of used cars has remained mostly steady in recent years, says Rissa.
“Sales of used cars have been good since the financial crisis of 2008. Consumers who can’t buy new cars have been trading in for slightly newer second-hand vehicles,” he explains.
A car owner who turns in a high-polluting car that it at least 10 years old to be junked gets a rebate of 1,000-2,000 euros towards the purchase of a new car, depending on the engine size and emissions. Some car dealers are also offering additional incentives for such deals. That offer is in effect until the end of August.
Also as of the start of the year, anyone who buys or starts a long-term lease of a new fully electric car is eligible for a subsidy of 2,000 euros. That rebate is in effect until 2021.
Related stories from around the North:
Finland: Traffic down by 5% after inauguration of newest Helsinki metro line, Yle News
Sweden: “Gender-equal snow-clearing” to benefit cyclists and pedestrians in Sweden, Radio Sweden
Russia: Challenges ahead for electric car chargers along Europe’s northernmost highway, The Independent Barents Observer
United States: ‘The permafrost is dying’: Alaska city sees increased shifting of roads and buildings, Alaska Dispatch News